The story behind the corporation that owns the Beverley uranium mine in north-east South Australia is scarcely believable.
Heathgate Resources − a 100 per cent-owned subsidiary of General Atomics (GA) − owns and operates Beverley and has a stake in the adjacent Beverley Four Mile mine. Over the years GA CEO Neal Blue has had commercial interests in oil, Predator drones, uranium mining and nuclear reactors, cocoa, bananas and real estate.
Radioactive spills and gas leaks at a uranium processing plant in Oklahoma led to the plants closure in 1993. The plant was owned by a GA subsidiary, Sequoyah Fuels Corporation, and processed uranium for use in reactors and for use in depleted uranium munitions. A nine-legged frog may have GA to thank for its dexterity.
A government inquiry found that GA had known for years that radioactive material was leaking and that the radioactivity of water around the plant was 35,000 times higher than US laws permitted.
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